Blackhawks Buried By Avalanche

The Blackhawks flew to Denver and lost 5-1 to the Avalanche.

While the score was ugly, the play wasn’t nearly as one-sided as the final tally would indicate. But the bigger concern will be the health of Bryan Bickell, who was injured on his fourth shift of the night.

Raanta Crawford

Already without Marian Hossa, Bickell appeared to lose an edge and crashed into the net. He was slow to get up, but did skate off on his own. He left the bench immediately, however, and did not return to the game.

After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said Bickell might be “a little more than day-to-day,” and indicated that the salary cap would play a factor moving forward.

With Bickell out of the lineup, the Hawks were limited to 11 forwards – including Sheldon Brookbank – for the remainder of the night. And many of those forwards had a less-than-stellar evening in Denver.

Ben Smith had a nice night, but failed to convert on a number of good scoring chances. Smith was credited with three shots on net in the game, but failed to register a point.

Brandon Saad had the one Chicago goal in the game, his sixth of the season. With the primary assist on the goal, Patrick Kane extended his point streak to eight games on his 25th birthday.

Brent Seabrook led the team with three hits and two takeaways, but an awful bounce off the end boards bounced off the post and straight out in front of the net where Paul Stastny was waiting to open the scoring in the first period. After Gabriel Landeskog and John Mitchell scored 56 seconds apart later in the period, Quenneville decided to make a change in net.

Corey Crawford was pulled after allowing three goals against seven shots in 13:17. Antti Raanta allowed two more goals against 16 shots in his NHL debut.

Quenneville said both of his netminders were “just OK” after the game, but acknowledged that pulling Crawford wasn’t putting the blame for the first three goals on the starter. The Hawks gave the puck away and watched too much in the first period, and the Avs took advantage.

The Hawks are back on the ice in Winnipeg on Thursday.

68 thoughts on “Blackhawks Buried By Avalanche

  • November 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Colorado has had the Hawks number the last few seasons. Whether it’s their team speed, or the Hawks not acclimating to the elevation when they play in Denver, or just one of those weird matchup problems that happen in sports – it wasn’t surprising the Avs won handily tonight. Unlike in Nashville the other night, I don’t think it was lack of effort tonight – lack of execution, lack of finish – yes, but not lack of effort. It was one of those games when they tried to do too much when they couldn’t score instead of simplifying their game. There were too many times when the best play would have been to shoot the puck, but instead they tried to make a pass for someone else to get a better shot. The problem is that too often resulted in no shot.

    It looked to me that Bickell’s leg flexed between the knee and ankle and that aint sopposed to happen. I hope it’s nothing serious but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a bone broken somewhere in there. With all the giddiness of the Versteeg signing only a few days ago, it may come back to haunt them because it takes away much of the flexibility to maneuver under the Cap. With Bickell probably out for minimum of a game or two and the uncertainty of when Hossa will return, it may require some player movement to free up Cap room to bring up Morin or someone from Rockford. At this point they are down to 10 forwards and even with Brookbank playing forward they can’t ice 4 lines.

    Crawford showed last year that he can bounce back from a soft goal or bad game. He showed that he wasn’t mentally fragile which was the knock on him. But playing goalie is such a confidence thing, and with the team’s defense clearly not as good this year, I fear Crawford’s confidence may be getting tried right now. I hope the resiliency he showed last season was really him and not a product of the team playing so well in front of him.

    We’ve seen the Hawks play against rookie goalies a few times over the past couple seasons and more times than not they stand on their head and have a great game. Not so with Raanta tonight. Too early to make an assessment if he’s good enough to play in the NHL right now – but he certainly didn’t stand on his head like we’ve seen other rookie goalies do.

    Faceoffs were good. Colorado is a pretty bad faceoff team though.

    Losing to Colorado is worse this year than last because of the pompous ass that stands behind the Av’s bench this season. Great goalie – maybe the best ever – but I really don’t care for the guy too much.

    Hopefully the Jets will be the tonic to soothe the pain.

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:11 am

    A few observations before nodding off.

    1) Hawks severely outplayed the Avalanche. Varlamov stood on his head and beat them like they were his girlfriend. (too soon?)

    2) Ben Smith had one million chances to score a goal and couldn’t finish. Hell of a game from the kid, but put it in the damn net! He’s been on the ice for a ton of goals against lately. Not sure if it’s him failing in the defensive zone or something else. I’ll have to be a more astute observer next time.

    3) Brandon Pirri was once again not in the red in a 5-1 loss. He was one of the better Hawks tonight.

    4) Seabrook was drunk and is probably pissing away his Olympic chances with every passing game. That bank pass was ridiculous and then he followed someone behind the net allowing the third goal.

    5) Crawford is getting left out to dry. It’s ok to expect him to make big saves, but he didn’t have a damn chance tonight.

    6) There was absolutely no excuse for there not to be another forward in the lineup today. Is this Bowman’s way of telling Q to screw off for not playing Morin?

    7) Bollig made so many mistakes tonight. He needs a game or 3 off. No excuse to not get that pass over for a 2-0… a terrible icing penalty… at least he didn’t take a stupid penalty!

    Now I will sleep on it and try to remember other awful things.

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Why cant we bring up both Moe & Broady. Their salarys are less than 26 & 6.

    If we were at the cap the day when 39 went to ltir, then shouldn’t we have another (1.7- .925 Raanta) .875

    How many people can you have on ltir at once.

    I thought if we have 3 on ltir, and we were at the cap (64.3) the day we put them on ltir, then we could use their total salarys (1.7-.925, +1.0, +.625) for other guys… until they come back. or is it strictly 23man max.

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:05 am

    Its a good thing Rozy ok.

    Maybe we can hook and hold like the other teams get away with against us.

  • November 20, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Ok, Hoss is still out, Crawford is tired and Seabrook needs a brain transplant. Seeing Bickel go down was a bad thing and it looks like a knee to me (having had a couple repairs myself.) Bottom line, this is 2 of the last 3 games getting blown out. (Albeit not as bad as the Nashville implosion, but still, 5-1 is a beating like it or not.) Further, the win over the Sharks has to be taken in the context of the fact that it was the final game in a 5-game away trip for SJ and they looked tired imho. Q’s decision to play BB at forward while we’re already down 81 is mistifying. So we’ll likely get some medicine in Winni, BUT not not liking what I’m seeing the past week or so.

    I’d like to see Raanta next game and NOT see Brookbank on the ice at ANY position.

  • November 20, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Pirri looked good.

    Bollig- no pass or awareness to 3 on 1 / 2 on 0… terrible!!! and like JS said he is making more mistakes lately… and Hawks are not good enough to be getting nothing from 3rd (Bbank/29 have been bad) AND 4th lines on a daily basis!!!

    CC- has been hung out to dry… but honestly- other teams have WAY to much time and space AND have buried their shots… WHILE Hawks appeared to dominate much of the game… they still didn’t have the time and space… And few times they did- Kane and Co. DID NOT bury the shot… AND CC HAS NOT made the $6Million dollar Man saves!!! That was still a Bad $$$ amount and length!!!

    Hawks last 2 losses were really due to lack of TEAM coverage/assignments- and GRADE A chances that have connected… this is SO FAR AWAY from “The Hawk’s D Philosophy/Structure”!!!

    Lastly, McKinnon and Landeskog are great players!!! And Duchene is one of the top 5 players in league… Avs are for real!!! and they have money to spend!!!

  • November 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

    Also, Versteeg is smart, usually in right place, still has wicked wrister…
    BUT he is no where near the same skater he was (especially agility wise)…
    I hope he can recover and get back to being that guy…

    29’s injury looks like a sprained knee,,, either MCL or ACL… hope it’s just 3-6 week sprain- no surgery. Did he sprain his right or left knee last year???

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I think the Avs are a bubble team at best. Their defense is pretty bad and if not for a great game from their goalie, the Hawks win that game. Their coach is also an idiot and I imagine at some point they will hit some awful skid.

    Certainly far too early to judge CC’s contract, but if they keep playing defense this way in front of him, he certainly won’t look like he’s worth the money. Let’s not forget how good CC was in the playoffs last year.

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

    I’m going to temporarily endure the insufferable among you to point out my observations.

    1. This team has hit a wall. It happens. It’s is an excruciating LONG season and when the mental mindset is, hey we need to get thru 82 games AND prepare for 2 months of a grueling playoff run (HOPEFULLY !!) combined with the Olympics? Well, it’s inevitable that the focus and the drive hit rough patches. Last night the Hawks looked gassed throughout…as if they just wanted to get down with playing the Avalanche and were willing to sacrifice 2 points in pursuit of putting thru another X through a game on the schedule. Not a good mindset to have, but again the team is comprised of enough smart veterans who know in their heart of hearts that they can’t possibly “bring it” every single game if they are to have any hope of having enough fuel in the tank at the end of the year.

    2. Sorry to see Bickell go down, but in cruel and brutally honest terms he has been playing unacceptably poorly since day 1 of the season. He needs to have a fire lit under his ass. Yes, I am quite disappointed and would have never guessed that this would have been the type of start we would see from Bickell. His commitment to two-way hockey and to getting his body in front of the net has been piss poor.

    3. Enough on Jeremy Morin. For the love of God, the kid has been given multiple chances for 3 seasons running to carve out a niche and it hasn’t happened. He’s a liability on the ice nearly every time I see him on the ice. He is not the silver bullet answer to anything. He’s FILLER…he’s Jimmy Hayes…nothing more. So incredibly sick of the idiot brigade tearing Q a new asshole for his refusal to support Morin. Q is one of the all-time best coaches the league has ever seen and knows what he is doing.

    4. Yes, the Hawks need to call up another forward, especially since Marian Hossa will have to be carefully milked the rest of the way to make sure he can be there for the playoffs. Hossa is a high mileage 35 year old veteran, and yes he is on the decline. The body no longer recovers like it once did and his value to this team as a difference making RW is too great not to very carefully manage his health and minutes played situation. We push the envelope with Hossa too much and he could get long-term hurt with the back.

    5. I’d like to get Nordstrom back up here. He may be very green, but the kid can fly on his skates and has a lot of God given hockey talent. We need his energy and we need his skating ability. I’ll take the learning curve mistakes in the pursuit of making him become an essential tw0-way specialist on this team.

    6. Crawford is in a funk. See point number 1 above. Best thing for him would be two consecutive games off. He’s been playing way too much and sometimes a goalie needs a break from the stress.

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    The Avalanche are a team on the rise. Too much forward talent not to have a bright future. They add one blue-chip defenseman and get any level of goaltending and their longer-term future looks rock solid. I would expect them to be very active in trying to add a nice defense piece at the trading deadline. Can they make the playoffs? Yes, I would count on that happening.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Rufus- good job there… agree on most everythin… especially 2-6…
    while CC isn’t the reason they are losing… he isn’t doing anything incredible to stop the bleeding and IMO- never will. JS- CC played well in SC run, but at the end of the day- Hawks team in front of him were not allowing the time and space that we are currently seeing (on a regular basis lately- for other teams to snipe)…

    29 has played like a dog most of year… partly his fault… partly the fault of 3rd player/lack of… on 3rd line!!!! and 65 is being made useless by that lack of 3rd liner too!!!

    I am a 42 fan too!!! If 52/17/??? continue to be mediocre to negative forces… really wouldn’t mind seein 42, Mills (who I thought always brought something) or Alex Bhurst get look/Reward.

    I stated prior to the season HOW the health of Hoss would/could effect the Hawks…
    and now we are seeing the snowball effect. Guys/lines playing out of position.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Joakim Nordstrom 8 games, one point, 10:43 aTOI, +1, 10 shots.

    Jeremy Morin 6 games, 2 points, 8:53 aTOI, even, 15 shots.

    Joakim Nordstrom in the AHL. 9 games, 2 points, -3, 12 shots.

    Jeremy Morin in the AHL 10 games, 11 points, +3, 42 shots.

    Joakim Nordstrom obviously has the higher ceiling, right? Just like Pirri couldn’t play in the NHL, right?

    Personally, I think Q is kind of overrated as a coach. Unless you like the idea of dressing defensemen as forwards, John Scott, inept power play, etc. Q HAS done a good job with Pirri, but no reason he couldn’t give Morin the same leash. Instead he’s dressing a defensemen as a forward and overworking his stars. THIS is also what is destroying the third line. There isn’t any consistency. The line had a couple of very good offensive games when Morin got a handful of starts in a row, then Q started dressing 17 as a forward and the line has been LOST ever since. But yep, Q knows best!

    And wall, I don’t think there is a goalie in the league that is going to stop people with the time and space the Hawks are giving them lately.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:20 am

    If Bollig isn’t going to hit and fight he shouldn’t be playing. now that he’s scored he thinks he’s a sniper. we need a shakeup. maybe calling Kyle beach or mills back up for energy. The team looks stale please but brookbank on d. Can’t believe two blown outs no physical response at all. No challenges hitting or stirring stuff up its embarrassing were not Detroit we want toughness

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:26 am

    The past week needs to be put into perspective. The Preds and the Avs played inspired hockey while the Sharks were not totally themselves. Yes, I think the Hawks outplayed the Avs for much of the game but goals are what counts. The Avs were in the right place at the right time last night, conversely, the Hawks were not.

    The regular season offense belongs to those players who have 3 or 4 of the following 6 attributes: Speed, quickness, puck control, passing ability, shooting ability and are good along the boards . Bollig and Brookbank seem to possess none of these traits. I though Bollig was playing well this year but the last 5 games have been pretty ugly. Brookbank is basically useless on offense.

    Q likes veterans. But he will have to eventually change his mindset and allow the young to play. Q will also have to tolerate mistakes by rookies as a learning experience. It has been a luxury for Q not to have to tolerate that which does not like.

    Morin may not be a huge answer but we know he is quick (if not fast), passes and shoots well and is not afraid of a board battle. This automatically make him more valuable than Bollig or Brookbank. There are others in the system, like Nordstrom, TT etc who have these attributes as well.

    The Hawks are a great great team. They seem to be more exposed when they face young fast teams like the Avs…….and remember the Avs were without Duchene last night. Q is a great coach. He will realize that running his veterans being run ragged is not the answer.

    It is not too early to talk about CCs contract in this respect. I like CC but I will say what I said before. $6mm is too much money for any goalie that is not top 5 in the league. I am not sure anybody would put CC in the top 5.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Good observations guys…Bickell looks like a knee, so we will see what the Hawks have to say today or tomorrow…a few thoughts…

    First, CC has NOT been good over the last 4 starts…even the SJ game, he scored on himself and struggled with most everything that came to the net…that was a defence win, not a goalie win…so the question is then is CC tired and overworked or has he lost confidence in the net…either way, it shows…as Negzz said, Raanta needs to play Thursday and a few other games this trip to allow CC to work on his game and get some rest.

    Second, let’s not forget that the Hawks outplayed COL in Denver…the bottom line is that we had some key giveaways, see Brent Seabrook, and their goalie stood on his head while ours didn’t…hockey is that kind of game…unlike soccer, a goalie in hockey can steal a game, and the COL goalie did that last night…

    Third, remember that EVERY team in the league comes ready to play when the Hawks come to town, and so do the fans…the Hawks are up against it every time they take the ice, especially on the road…and Patrick Roy is a good coach with a big ego, you KNEW he was going to have his team ready…they lost 3 in a row prior to this game and its no surprise to me…

    Fourth, a lot of this is on Coach Q…he has pushed his star players early in the season and refused to send Bulin down to the minors to work on his game, and just kept playing CC…he has REFUSED to develop Jeremy Morin and in typical Q fashion he has been stubborn with his silly decision to continue dressing BB at right wing on our GREAT 3rd line when we are supposed to have this incredibly talented and deep system of prospects…but on a SC champion team with 2 guys on the IR we can’t find one single player to play right wing on the 3rd line??? And regardless of what Tab says about Morin, Morin has played well for the Hawks, I can attest to that.

    Fifth, let’s be honest, Bollig has been decent at best, but over the last 10 days, 2 weeks, he has been getting worse not better…Bollig should remain that 13th forward that plays once every couple of games, not an “entrenched guy”…right now the Hawks are dressing 2 forwards (one a weak defenceman) that aren’t good enough to play on this team consistently and as such we are NO LONGER rolling 4 lines…when we roll 4 lines, we win…when we don’t we often lose…2 losses in 3 games is a big deal for the Hawks…what’s the consistent pattern in those losses??? Not rolling 4 lines…

    Certainly the acquisition of Versteeg has tightened our CAP position, but with 2 guys on IR, and perhaps now Bickell, we have lots of CAP space to bring up replacements…BB CANNOT play wing any longer…he is bad enough as a DMan let alone a RW killing our 3rd line playing 3-5 useless minutes a night…he can continue to play every few games rotating in for Rozy as a DMan…we need Morin back to the 3rd line…we need Hossa to suck it up and dress in WIN, we can then roll Shaw with Versteeg and Morin on the 3rd line and not skip a beat…Bollig needs to be rotated on that 4th line…thats a great spot to audition some of the kids in Rockford such as GARRET ROSS…there is lots of talk about the Broadhurst brothers, and I like them both, but Ross has been our best 2 way player in Rockford all season and the most consistent player…he is a team high +4 on a team of mostly minus players…he is incredibly sound defensively…crashes the net offensively and CAN SKATE like crazy out there…plus he’s tougher than Bollig…its time for Q to get off his Veteran Mountain, and come back to reality…every organization has to give youth its turn to play…he can no longer afford to shield players like BB and Bollig…Bollig has committed enough stupid mistakes (beyond all of the DUMB penalties) to last a life time for any youngster in our organization…PLAY the kids and roll 4 lines, or this losing is going to continue…

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

    JS throwing Q under the bus. Lovely stuff. The coach who presided over the nurture and development of frontline young talent like Kane, Toews, Bickell, Leddy, Saad, Hjalmarsson, etc… is too big of an idiot to understand the wondrous skill set and ability of Jeremy Morin. One of the all-time winningest coaches in the league. A long-time player…a guy with 2 Stanley Cup rings.

    Yep, he’s an idiot. Lovely, lovely stuff.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Nate, when your team is losing, you want them to start taking runs at people and fighting? Seriously? Have you watched this team over the last 6 years? Have you recently been a Blues or Canucks fan?

    I must have missed the part where I said Q was an idiot. People are allowed to question his decisions. Remember last year when Saad didn’t make the team and DAN FREAKING CARCILLO was on the first line?

    Rufus, plain and simple, do you think Brookbank is a better option at forward than Morin?

    Remember when you said that the Q nurtured Patrick Kane isn’t a playoff player? Then he went on to win the Conn Smythe. Good times.

    The guy presided over Brian Bickell… who you just said needs a fire lit under his ass? Pretty hard for Bickell to perform when he’s not getting any minute because they have a defensemen playing forward on the third line.

    Just because he has a great resume, that doesn’t mean he makse the best decisions.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Christ Rufus…do you actually watch these games??? Morin has been good as a Hawk, in EVERY chance he has been given…not average or below average, but good…I have NOT witnessed one glaring defensive zone mistake by Morin, and here’s the deal, when that 3rd line played together (29/65/Morin) they controlled the puck in the offensive zone, so he didn’t spend much time in his own zone…Morin is physical…he takes the body and finished checks…the crashes the net fearlessly…he is an under rated passer with good vision, we all know he is a sniper, and he wins battles on the puck…in his 5 games with the Hawks he’s had 2 goals waived off and set up a ton of scoring chances for his line mates…the kid can flat out play…the same with Pirri…and if the Hawks gave Hayes a chance, he can play too…why you under value our own players within the system I have no idea…you HATE Smith and he was one of our best players last night and has been great on that 4th line with Kruger…its your favourite Bollig that’s been killing that 4th line…as for Nordstrom, I like him, and would much rather have him on the 4th line with Smith and Kruger than Bollig, but he’s no replacement for Morin…and your hype about Danault??? I actually WATCH the Rockford games and Danault isn’t there yet, not even close…McNeil is, but I don’t here anything from you about him…Garret Ross has quietly been the best Rockford forward all season long, and I don’t hear a peep from you about him? The Broadhurts are dynamic, smart players, but I don’t hear a thing from you about them? Recently, Danault told the press that Hawks have asked him to become another Marcus Kruger type player…that does NOT bode well for Danault centring the 2nd line by December as you predicted…

    Christ…this is simple to understand, not difficult…when the Chicago Blackhawks roll 4 lines with 12 REAL forwards we win hockey games, when we don’t we become a .500 hockey team…now we have Hossa, Bickell and Handzus out…what should Q do??? Huh? Find John Scott and sign him up to centre the 2nd line??? Oops, sorry, that’s Danault’s territory.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

    JS- Bro, I completely agree on the CC comment… He has been hung out to dry- as was Raanta a couple of times… the comment is just my general thought on goalies (as Mike said- there are only a couple of true Show stopping goalies- and CC ain’t one of them)
    these losses aren’t his fault-

    JS- I actually like Morin- I think the Hawks NEED Morin AND a 42,Mills, any of the other ones I mentioned (especially now that 29 might be out for a long time!!!)…
    your stats are correct/noted… But why do you think 52 was brought up way before Hayes, 37, Morin, others??? cuz he plays smart/predictable, is playing role, and actually skates pretty good for big guy… My comment is only in agreement with yours- that lately 52 has NOT been playing smart (we know 17 gives you no speed)-
    so both of these “ROLE” playing guys have become Liabilities… and have been drags on the 3rd and 4th lines!!!

    My suggestion didn’t include Morin – Only cuz Q seems to have dismissed Morin as a possibility…

    Really, Like I have often said about Hayes… Morin Might actually be better on the 1st or 2nd line… where puck is in the O zone more… and 19,81,20 can keep it longer!!!
    That would also give the 3rd line a boost by – say moving Saad down to work with 65 and 23…

    28/16/42, Mills, Bhurst, anyone but 17 and 52 (who seems to have forgotten what he is)

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Unbelievable. And hence why I don’t really hang out here anymore. We have JS and Sr Brad cannibalizing every conversation and spewing propaganda on Jeremy Morin. Tab, a lovely blog you have nurtured…a bunch of wingnuts who make drive-by shootings of Q and Bowman. Why?!? Because it is so brilliantly obvious to these hockey mensas that Q doesn’t know how to play young players and has a personal vendetta against Jeremy Morin !! Oh the humanity….a fringe NHL player at best his being hammered by Q.

    And JS, the skill set of Nordstrom is distinctly better than Morin. It’s not even close. Skating ability…moving the puck…two way play…offensive creation. He is very raw and getting used to the North American rink, but his future in the NHL is distinctly brighter than your pal Morin.

  • November 20, 2013 at 9:58 am

    Point of clarification: I did not say Morin was “bad.” I said he hadn’t distinguished himself. Brandon Pirri is making an impact (11 pts in 17 games).

    Right now the Hawks are in a tough spot w/ the cap, so recalling (and, more importantly, keeping up) Morin or any other prospect may be handicapped by the team’s finances. We’ll have to wait and see what the prognosis is w/ Bickell & Hossa as the trip continues.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Before we all jump off a cliff, let’s understand a few things………….

    The Hawks are 1/4 through the regular hockey season and look “pretty good” at times and “awful” at other times. Lately, their turnovers are absolutely killing them and seem to be ending up in their net. That is something that can be rectified with better passing and safer exits from their own zone.

    If BB is out for an extended period of time, this will be the first MAJOR injury in awhile. Hossa is in and out, but BB’s injury could be extended IR time. This team seems to thrive on adversity, so if BB is gone for awhile, look at Morin, Versteeg and
    Pirri to step in and make things happen. If this team is “stacked” at the forward position, now is the time to see how stacked they really are.

    Crawford is only as good as the team in front of him. He is a solid NHL goaltender that seems to struggle when the team struggles. That’s okay……..he can’t win every game by himself. Raanta will get his chances over the next month, so let’s hope he’s a solid goaltender. Crawford can’t play every game.

    We don’t lose games for “lack of talent” and “lack of effort”. We lose games because we make stupid mistakes and turn the puck over. This team is smart enough to learn from their mistakes and move on.

    The Hawks will be fine.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Rufus, JS did not call Q an idiot, he merely pointed out Q’s LONG history with making stupid decisions regarding favouring under achieving veterans over rookies…the list is far too long to repeat, but BB is NOT the first weak DMan to play wing on one of our key lines for an extended period of time??? What gives? Q is OLD SCHOOL and to that end he has strengths and weaknesses…strengths because he knows that team defence with forwards back checking is what wins championships…weaknesses because as a COACH (and not a GM trying to build the FUTURE of a franchise) Q is concerned about one game, one week, and not the big picture…not playing Smith at the beginning of the season was a biased short sighted decision…to send Pirri down to minors was the same…and the games he has played with Morin’s head are criminal…the kid has loads of strength and talent…work with him and let him play through his mistakes…maybe like, oh let’s say, Bollig??? The only difference is that when Bollig’s mistakes INCREASE he continues to get his ice time and 10+ minutes a night…Morin patrols up too high in the DZone, after playing a monster offensive game, and he’s benched and then sent down to the minors while the injuries here mount??? Does that sound logical or fair to you??? It doesn’t to me…Q continued to tolerate SUBSTANDARD play from Handzus from DAY 1 this season and did nothing and demoted Pirri…it wasn’t until Handzus was injured was Pirri given a fair shake and he’s been one of our very best players ever since…now we are all speculating about whether or not we can afford him next year???

    Mills was pretty good while he was here, but he is a 30 year old career minor leaguer, and to play him over say Nordstrom, or Ross, or McNeil is SHORT SIGHTED and not necessarily putting the best foot forward for the organization…

    I think JS has got it right…there is and has been a rift between Stan and Q…probably similar to Billy Beane and Art Howe in Moneyball…Q controls the “lineup” card and is defensive and protective over it…and if he senses that he can send digs and messages to Bowman by playing Bollig and BB over Bowman’s “kids” (sounds like Jerry Lewis!) it becomes egos trying to protect their own territory…remember, Q hasn’t forgotten the Bowman’s FORCING Barry Smith on his coaching staff to try and fix the STs problem…that was a HUGE slap to Q’s penis in front of the whole hockey world…

    Does that mean I dislike Q or think he is a poor coach? Not at all…but I see him for what he is…a good, OLD SCHOOL hockey coach with an ego (perhaps justifiably) who plays mind games with those around him to protect his “turf”….Q plays favourites…he always has…he puts veterans first to a fault IMO, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that Q is a good NHL hockey coach…not a a great one, as our constant STs problems attest to, but a damn good coach who does things his way…

    So hear’s to Sheldon Brookbank, Michael Handzus and John Scott…

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Wall- I agree on the contract. Too much money, too many years. I really don’t get it. That being said, it’s pretty much the going rate for goalies these days and it could potentially look good in a few years.

    As far as Bollig goes, don’t forget that he’s also 26. He didn’t have much development left unlike the others you mentioned.

    Rufus, you didn’t answer my question about Brookbank versus Morin at the forward position. Please answer this.

    And to call Morin a fringe NHL player while praising Nordstrom kind of blows my mind. Morin is 11 months older, 40 pounds heavier, and undoubtedly better offensively. He needs to be given time to learn defense in the NHL, something Pirri was allowed to do.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Reg, great post…the Hawks will get beat some nights by superb goaltending…it happens…most of our “problems” have been poor clearing attempts that opposition teams turn into goals…

    As you and Wall have both said, CC has not been a problem at all this season, but he’s NOT a $6 million a year goalie and he’s not making those $6 million dollar saves either…he’s as good as the Defence is…and when both play “together” we are tough to beat…and honestly, losing Bickell won’t likely hurt us at all…its Hossa that hurts…we have lots of talent to replace Bickell’s minutes on the 3rd line if that talent is used…

    As to Rufus about Morin, I will stake my name and “reputation” on Morin becoming a good NHL’er…he’s a good hockey player right now, and will become a very good one either here or somewhere else in the future…

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I would like someone to point to one factual point of evidence that suggests Bowman and Q don’t see eye to eye. Just one. A lot of direct and sublminal comments that Q is a very replaceable, very mediocre coach. Which is total and complete horseshit, and Stan Bowman would be the first one to say it. THen we have the mensas claiming that the sabermetrics approach to the role and importance of a baseball manager applies to professional hockey?!? Based on what?!?

    Q is an elite head coach. A huge reason why this team won two Stanley Cups. Regardless the insane comments of the peanut gallery that suggests he is ruinous to young players and doesn’t dress his 12 best forwards each night.

    And help me out here?!? Ben Smith?!? Since when did Smith become a substantial talent?!? Fact is he too is filler material, and Q has approached the development and usage of Smith just right. In fact, Smith is a guy who will always been on the cusp of being replaced on a good hockey team. As it should be.

    Brandon Bollig? He’s been an an integral role player who currently is in a slump. He isn’t remotely the most talented or gifted player on this team, but he fits a role and fits it quite well. Which is more than I can say about Morin, who has been given multiple opportunities to seize a defined opportunity and failed, failed, failed. He’s the next Jimmy Hayes in that regard, who was the next Jack Friggin Skille in similar regard. So bash Bollig all you want, but there as a need on this team that he filled.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

    While Sr Brad likes to wax poetic about the “rift” between Quenneville & Bowman, and tell us about how he’s old school and hates kids… there are some fatal flaws to the arguments made.

    First, he had no problem rolling Bollig out there during the Stanley Cup Final. I’m sure that’s an indication of a guy that only roles w/ 30-somethings… and Quenneville has used Bollig on PK this year.

    Second, he challenged Pirri to improve defensively to remain the team’s 2C and Pirri has responded. Morin received his marching orders, sat for a few games, and the team demoted him when Versteeg was acquired.

    But beyond arguing about which kids are “better” in the eyes of Rufus, Brad, JS, wall or anyone else, you’re all ignoring the most important reality: money.

    Brandon Bollig & Ben Smith are on one-way contracts this year. The organization likes them, and both have shown growth on the ice and performed well on some big stages (Smith vs VAN in 2011, Bollig in last year’s postseason). To Bollig’s credit, he’s been a much better HOCKEY PLAYER this year than many fans were willing to give him credit for being; he’s more than a fighter. Is he a top-six guy? Hell no.

    So while we all want to spit venom over where a few prospects are playing, let’s also remember that the Hawks are now looking to fill their 11th and 12th forward spots for the next 2 years; the top THREE lines are full. Is Morin worth more to the organization wasting cap space sitting in the press box or skating 8 minutes as the 12th forward or putting up numbers in Rockford to increase his trade value? If we all agree that there are kids in the system – Hartman, McNeill, Danault, Broadhurst(s), Ross – that have an NHL future, the reality is that Morin is more likely to be a trade piece at this point in his Chicago career than a Blackhawk. Like it or not, there are roster dynamics in play here that impact more than the 2013-14 season that are being consistently ignored.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Frustrations are showing. Tempers are shortened. Perspective is needed.

    Hawks aren’t perfect, but they are one of the best teams in the league.

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Also Wall, I like that line up you crafted and I definitely agree that Morin could flourish with those top guys. One of the problems I have with Sharp (before Rufus accuses me of throwing him under the bus, I love Sharp), is that he doesn’t seem to find open ice… ever. For a “sniper” I often see him standing in a bad spot versus finding open space away from defenders. It’s also why I hate him on the point on the PP. He’ll be stradling the blue line with a ton of open ice in front of him.

    If Bickell isn’t hurt badly, I would love to see Morin rotated with Bollig on the fourth line. If they aren’t going to use Morin, may as well bring Nordstrom up and give Bollig a rest.

    I’m not positive what they can do under the cap right now, but I’m pretty sure with the amount of money on LTIR they should have more than enough space.

    Q also isn’t being invited to the Olympics with team Canada. Nor was he in 2010. Just saying. Apparently, Canada thinks there are 4 coaches that are better than him.

    Rufus, can you answer my question? Do you think that Brookbank is a better option at forward than Jeremy Morin?

  • November 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

    JS….Babcock hates Q

  • November 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Rufus- you are being way to Harsh on JS/Sr.
    And I we are on the same page about a lot of things…
    I agree that 42 has a lot of potential, IQ, skating/moving/ I will add playmaking are way better than most… He is an impressive forechecker. Great at hitting people and getting the puck… (gains 10-20 lbs.— wow- could be awesome)… Liabilities- getting Hit and trying to get the puck out of D-Zone… Needs a lot of work there… ( it is easier to hit someone when they are trying to play the puck than taking hit/playing puck successfully) …

    I also agree that 37 and Morin are nowhere near complete top line guys… BUT- where I disagree is that they are “Fringe” players at best… Just like 42 isn’t a 1st line center… Morin/37 really aren’t suited for 3rd/4th line roles (because they aren’t Defense 1st guys and or aren’t well rounded players)… like you said- they don’t skate/defend well enough… So perhaps in the BIG scheme of things… Until spots open up on 1st/2nd lines (like it did 4 Pirri)… Morin will sit and wait… Pirri can’t skate well enough to defend/forecheck… but since he learned to “get it to Kane” and trail…
    and not shoot the Puck every time… he has been sufficient! So, he has worked well on 2nd line…

    I think Morin is in same boat…
    AND- I think SB is aware of these things… In BIG scheme- if Morin and Pirri play 82 games on 1st/2nd line… score 20+ goals each (which is completely realistic playing w guys like 81,88,10,19) – both would earn some FAT contracts going into RFA and BOTH will still BE INCOMPLETE players- As you correctly suggest!!!

    IMO- for Morin to work- skate on top line as sniper/net finder… (what he can do now)
    or- teach him to skate/forecheck/defend (which he can’t do) and put on 3rd/4th line!!!

  • November 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

    My 2 cents:
    * Q is a great coach who has guided this team to 2x SC’s in 4 years while developing young talent into NHL stars. He is ALSO old school, stubborn and defers to vets to a fault. It is not sacriledge to criticize his decisions, it’s fair game and many of these (playing Brookbank on wing and not giving some of the younger talent more leash to develop while sticking with Bollig while he does the same), are worthy of criticism and questioning by we- the fans- that pay his salary. That said, he knows more about hockey, his players and team than any of us, so he ultimately wins the benefit of the doubt.
    * CC’s contract was too $$ and too long, but that’s the market when you want to lock up a goalie. Should Jr have done so? I didn’t like it then and don’t now but that’s history. Bottom line, when the Hawks play tight D, CC is good enough to win a Cup (as he has.) Right now he’s obviously fatigued and not making the big saves his oppoenents are. Get him some rest and get Raanta some PT and we’ll be just fine.
    * Hoss is sooooo important to the top-6 mix. Evidence the change in team performance when he was put out by Torroes 2x yrs ago and what happens when he misses extended time. One of our 2-3 most important players.
    * I don’t feel too strongly about Morin, McNeil, Broadhurst, etc but would like to see them all given ample opportunity to succeed/learn. Pirri has been a pleasant surprise, Smith is decent 4-liner, and Morin has looked good to me in his limited chances. All I know is that Brookbank should NOT be playing wing.. and I mean EVER. I mean, c’mon, there is some sort of behind the scenes thing going on here- right?

  • November 20, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I invite everyone chatting about prospects to move this discussion to this morning’s post looking at what prospects outside Rockford are doing with their junior, college and international teams. There is A LOT of talent in the pipeline, folks. Bowman has put together a group of players that, collectively, are among the best and deepest groups in the NHL.

    We’re splitting hairs over who gets minutes on one of the top teams in the NHL. I love the passion, but perspective is key. This year’s Blackhawks team is, in spite of their last three games (without Hossa), still among the top teams in the NHL.

  • November 20, 2013 at 11:25 am

    While Brandon Pirri has indeed made a liar out of me offensively, I might suggest that the pairing of Pirri with Kane has hurt this team too much defensively. And is part of the reason why we have been giving up goals in major spurts…and why Kane is very often flipped mid-game to play on another line. Pirri is not 2C material. He’s not. And I shall contnue to insist the viable future of that position starts with Phil Danault. Even if he can’t score in infamous Bolland fashion.

    Brookbank is on this roster because he fits financially, as inferred by Tab. He has stepped in and given this team a few minutes at RW on those nights where Q fully recognizes other guys will double shift, etc.

    I’m not going to debate Morin any longer. He probably gets YET ANOTHER tryout when the Hawks put Bickell on the IR. Though I would call up Nordstom or McNeil. But alas, Stan and Q don’t ask me for my opinion on such matters. Suffice to say, Morin has had nine lives with this team. I guess he is indeed filling the role he is best suited for and I don’t realize it…Rockford shuttle type.

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Brandon Pirri is +6. He was +2 on Saturday in a 7-2 loss. Patrick Kane’s +/- has gone up by 6 since he started playing with Pirri. Yet, he’s the reason they’ve been giving up goals in major spurts? Toews is +4, for reference.

    I know +/- isn’t the best statistic… but it shows that Pirri is not on the ice when the other team is scoring. Kane is also being double shifted because they have a defensmen playing wing. That’s why his line is changing.

    ALSO, Q is making the decision to play Kane and Pirri together. HOW DARE YOU QUESTION HIM!!!! There is no reason he couldn’t put Saad and Hossa with Pirri and bump Kane to play with Sharp and Toews… but we wouldn’t want to question his decision making.

    I have no issues with Brookbank being on the roster. Before the Versteeg aquisition, Brookbank was skating on the third line while Morin was watching from the press box. This had nothing to do with money.

    Do you think Brookbank is a better option at forward than Jeremy Morin? This is a yes no question.

    And Tab, I’m trying to look at everything with perspective. I think that’s why we get upset when Q works the team so hard in November. It’s one thing to double shift a player in the playoffs… but when you are one of the best teams in the league and it’s quarter mark of the season? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    re: double-shifting guys in November – the Hawks understand that points early in the season are critical. I would prefer they double shift guys and get dirty wins now so they don’t have to sweat playoff position as much after the Olympics (fingers crossed).

    Remember when some in our midst were wondering why Olesz never got a fair shot at the NHL roster? Devils places Olesz on unconditional waivers to terminate contract today so he can pursue the opportunity to play in Switzerland.

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Tab- I will chime in here Re: future prospects…
    and to Rufus- the Prospects are “better” all around fits for the Hawks/Q/SB… Hino, Danault, Motte, TT, 42, Bhurst…. THEY can skate/forecheck/see the ice and have good IQ-and CAN finish. Unlike 37/Morin (who are not complete players)- and are suited as 1st/2nd line finisher/snipers.

    The Prospects are “Shaw” types… can play any role, can skate 1st thru 4th line… (really Shaw’s biggest weakness is shot/size)… either way the sooner the fore-mentioned prospects can get here the better… 3-4 years is too long- cuz 81/10 will be passed their primes!!! Hawks need 1-2 of them to get here next year or two. And they will be improvements over 17,52,28. And allows Q more flexibility in balancing lines- Shaw,23,67,36… these are all guys that can play any line and be effective… IMO the prospects mentioned can do the same.

    And 37/Morin can work- but their skills are more suited to 1st/2nd line.

  • November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Morin should be called up next. I think nordstrom is extremly overrated and should be seasond in the a. And yes when your getting blown out you should try to mix things up and send a message to show you won’t go away quietly. We need more snarl out of our players. When were down 3-0 Bollig brookbank shaw one of our tough players has got to step up and at least issue a challenge to change momentum. This is hockey you can fight use it as a tool

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    There is absolutely no correlation between fighting and “momentum”. I want the teams I root for to lose with class, not throw a hissy fit and risk injuries.

    Points are points, it doesn’t matter where you are in the season. Double shifting players will lead to a constant game of catch up. They have the skill to roll 4 lines, no reason they shouldn’t.

    And you naild it there Wall. I certainly don’t think Morin is the next coming of Wayne Gretsky, I would just rather a forward play forward and be given a fair chance to improve. A lot of the prospects you mentioned need some seasoning and Morin and Pirri are acceptable stop gaps until they are ready… they just need to play.

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    JS, it is a yes or no question
    NO, I do not think Brookbank is a better option at forward than Morin.

  • November 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    well interesting day here to say the least. Glad I came and put me down for an infusion of Morin asap, but guys….our D has been very underwhelming as a unit on many games I have seen….cant catch em all. We used to be stingy bastards around our own net! We need that with us on the road or this is gonna be a trip to forget imo. just me blabbering, but not drunk! How bout JS? Happy hour there yet pal ? Some good comments!

  • November 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Js your a pussy go watch soccer. Need an example look at carcillo vs talbot during the pens championship run. Guys like you and bettman are ruining the sport. Claiming to be purest the game is so watered down no scrums between whistle no chirping no intensity the nhl is turning into the khl and it sucks.

  • November 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Chirping has its time and place. Bollig has been more effective w/ that this year; he isn’t a first-shift-fight guy any more. I appreciate that.

  • November 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Drinking now, Ryan!

    Nate, just because Talbot and Carcillo got in a fight during the Pens championship run, that doesn’t mean the Pens won because Talbot got his ass kicked. I know it’s hard to believe, but random occurrences happen. For every instance you can come up with for a fight “changing momentum”, I’ll find one where the team continues to get their ass kicked.

    Also, why do I have to go watch soccer? Find me any major american sport (besides hockey) that allows the players to fight and doesn’t suspend and fine the shit out of the players. Do you know why this is? Because it makes the sport look terrible.

  • November 20, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Tab, the Bowman’s rightly or wrongly forced Barry Smith onto Q when his STs, especially PP was the worst in the league…that didn’t last long, and during that time there were a ton of articles from the most respected voices in hockey talking about the rift between Q and the Bowman’s…

    Entering into last season, Bowman did little and made it VERY CLEAR to the world that the Hawks had the players and they needed to win with what they had…Q went silent on the subject for a long while but did admit publicly that he needed to get back to being more demanding on the players regarding turnovers and consistency…since last year, he has been that, and right through this season, and as a result we have hardly lost any games…Q has done a very good job and is a good coach and a certain HOFamer IMO…

    But to deny the “rift” between Q and Bowman is ridiculous…the Bowman’s smacked Q in public and in stung…Q demanded the freedom to create “his” own staff and Bowman made it clear that he should be able to do so and that last season was on Q and his staff…now, the PK improved, the PP sucked and we won a Cup…has everyone kissed and made up? Who knows…but that rift is there, like it is between a lot of coaches and GMs who didn’t start at the same time…I am NOT making a big deal out of anything…I am just saying it explains some of Q’s behaviour…and Q’s handling of our roster so far this season hasn’t been great…I am NOT throwing Bollig under the bus, I have been very supportive of Bollig’s improvements this year, but IMO he should be that 12th/13th guy…not a regular every night…a kid like Morin should, so that we know what we have…and BB skating as a Wing had NOTHING to do with money until last weekend, and now it has no bearing again…it is foolish stubbornness on the part of Q…or are you telling me that there isn’t a prospect in our “wonderfully deep” system that can’t give us better minutes that Brookback Mountain???

    I have no idea if Morin will be a star or not, but I’ve played and watched hockey long enough to see a 20+ goal scorer when I see one…and how much do they earn a season Rufus???

    The bottom line is that the Hawks are a great team, but can be handling this current situation a lot better by having a serviceable back up goalie and by playing our 12 best forwards so that we can roll 4 lines…and that’s the fact Jack…

  • November 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Long season these games will happen. It sure seems like they have the Hawkswks number. Hopefully when the real season starts the Hawks can match up.against them better. The biggest negative is that this gives the Avs more confidence moving forward

  • November 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    I heard Q talking about Brookbank as a wing. He seems to think he provides flexibility and support. I’m not sure I agree but those are his thoughts publicly. As for Morin he can’t skate. Imagine him on the ice tonight. Dave Androchuk couldn’t skate but craved out a HOF career. Being a poor skater is always going to hold Morin down. He’s Kyle Beach 2.0 as far as being the hot prospect to be called up.

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    So Jeremy Morin gets his UMPTEENTH chance to carve out a niche with the Chicago Blackhawks. Yet Q gets lambasted by a few delusional souls for irrationally disliking Morin.

    I hope and pray this is the last chance for Morin. It would be nice if he could FINALLY seize upon opportunity of course, but I won’t count on it. The zenith of his value is as a Rockford shuttle type. Either that or languishing on the 4th line for a craptacular hockey club like the Florida Panthers.

    Hey, maybe he can join Jimmy and Jack in Florida if he flames out on his umpteenth chance in Chicago !!!

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    For all the positive or negative reaction Jeremy Morin gets at the end of the day he’s 22 and has only appeared in 15 NHL games over 3 seasons. Personally I see him as a bottom 6 player with a good shot. I think he can top out at 20 goals with the right line mates and minutes. He reminds me alot of Troy Brouwer.(who topped out at 22 goals in the 09-10 season). Brouwer 1st 10 NHL games,…Zippo literally nothing! Give the kid time the Hawks don’t need him to do too much at this stage in his career.

  • November 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Js can you tell me why no other sport plays on ice and have Sharp blades on there feet? Because its hockey its what makes the game unique and bluecollar

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

    A rather lively banter this go around. I was traveling the other night and missed the Av’s game, but since I had on the dvr I was somehow able to watch without knowledge of the outcome. A few things really stood out to my eyes the other night. Turnovers due to bad passing and an effective forecheck from Colorado led to their goals. Their keeper(did you see the charges brought up against this guy/moron??) was lights out and ours weren’t. The refs let em play last night and this did not benefit the Hawks. Kruger(had a really bad game imo) was held behind his net resulting in turnover and a goal. Seabs poor behind the net bank pass was a mess that went right to a Stastny stick, that was buried with a great shot. Ave’s held and interfered just enough to disrupt plays on numerous occasions. It was like watching a Detroit game except the Ave’s have blazing speed. I am sure this is a pattern with Colorado that will develop. These guys have serious wheels and playing at that altitude they have a HUGE advantage against every team that plays in Denver. Ave’s though were bad in their own end and the Hawks could have scored 8 easy if they had buried chances, and they had many, many golden opportunities. I thought the game was much more closely played than the score indicated, yet the result was not there for the Hawks.

    Hossa out of the lineup shows his worth to the team simply because he adds so much. We are clearly a different and reduced team without him. So we have seen Hossa out and BB in. How much more of a drop off could there be with this switch? BB should not be a forward with this team. PERIOD! There is talk of cap space issues. Can we not bring up Mills, Morin, ANYONE from the Hogs that can play wing better than Brookbank. It isn’t BB’s fault. The guy is doing the best he can, but against the speedy Ave’s? The poor guy was in way over his head. This one is on Q, whom I love and respect as coach. This must change. Throw in the Bickell injury that looks like a knee ligament issue and the pot really gets stirred. Something though has to change with our lineup with forwards.

    I thought Raanta looked very shaky out there, but first NHL game coming in as a sub it is understandable. I don’t blame Corey at all last night.

    When the Hawks roll 4 lines they are a very good team. Take that away and they are just good, albeit more dangerous offensively that most teams in the league. So who’s going to plug the holes? I think Smith has been just fine, but he needs to finish chances. Pirri is at least racking up points. Bollig started the season strong, but has fallen into a ditch lately with some bad decisions. For me he is a much improved player we have to keep even though the gloves aren’t coming off so much this year. Some will argue against keeping toughness on the team, but I think it needs to be there just in case it is needed.

    No need for cyanide caps yet guys. It is late November in what is a really, really, needlessly long season. Injuries play a part in all sports. Spurts and slumps go had in hand. Get enough points to make the playoffs. Get some more points to get home ice for playoffs. Get to playoffs healthy and the real show begins. This team has the compete level and experience to be there in the Spring. Of course I get pissed off when they lose, but we need to keep things in perspective.

    Next please.

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:54 am

    SSHM you make a good point. 15 games over 3 seasons at 22 years old can not make or break a career. As JS asked, who would you rather have in the lineup, BB on the 3d line or Morin on the 4th line? That’s a no brainer for me.
    Here’s what I would love to see as the 12 forwards tonight
    20 / 19 / 88
    10 / 37 / 32
    Ross / 65 / 28
    Morin / 16 / T Broadhurst
    Will never happen

  • November 21, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Phil- great post… I had Detroit comparison, when I saw 19 trying to get back on D and was literally grabbed (19 turned to the refs- nothing)…
    But to Avs non-believers… they are really fast, talented, and can pressure and finish – kind of look like Hawks last year -minus the speed of D-men… but those forwards are elite. Avs turned the Hawks over 2-1… which was a Hawks skill/advantage most of last year… it is all created by speed and tenacity… which the Hawks clearly have less of this year (BBank- doesn’t help, 81 out, and 29…)

    While I agree the Hawks could have scored many… the negative is- Hawks 2 out of last 3 games are Allowing way to much space and time for shooters to snipe- very poor coverage, team defense… very Un-Hawk-like!!!

  • November 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Even with Morin called up and Hossa returning to the lineup tonight, the Hawks are still a forward short and will be starting BB at wing once again…when will this stupid situation end? From what I am hearing Bickell won’t need surgery but will need time to heal…are we seriously going to continue with BB as a winger? If Bickell is out 3 weeks, that’s over a month skating a slow, substandard DMan as a RW on something other than our 4th line…can we not at least skate Ben Smith on the 3rd line and relegate BB to the 4th…Shaw and Versteeg are far too good and dangerous to lose minutes and be saddled with a DMan…

  • November 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Wall, I see some similarities with Hawks-Avs but their d corps are thin compared to us. Raw speed they have over us up front, but quick outlet passes(easier said than done) leave those forecheck guys deep in the doodoo and an odd man rush the other way. Roy already looks like he is gonna have a major coronary behind the bench. The Ave’s though are dangerous.

    Sr Brad, and everyone else that has commented about the BB at forward issue. This cannot stand. Someone needs to explain why this persists. There has to be an explanation why a sub d man is starting at wing when better talent/speed is available. This is a weird one that defies logic. Meanwhile we wait for answers.

  • November 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Remember last summer when we were all looking ahead to this season and were predicting and hoping that our 3rd line would and should include Sheldon Brookbank? Me either,amazing the turns that are taken. Great news on 81/Morin and hopefully Bix too

  • November 21, 2013 at 11:38 am

    wall makes my point, thanks, if we aren’t goin to play D the way we know we can, we are just asking for it. Honestly I am surprised our record is as good as it is, from what Ive seen the coverage as a whole, dmen,fwrds, just not there consistently enough. I get tired of the phrase but it is accurate, take away time and space.

    We need to be a pain in the ass to play against again.

  • November 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    How many times a year do we here the announcer say….so and so for the opposition is playing in his first NHL game? Hawks have such a good team. Why not rotate our best prospects for a 3 or 4 game stint with the big club. Replacing Bollig and Brookbank for a few games….what do you have to lose?

    I am glad to here Hossa is will be in the lineup tonight.

    Here is the lineup I would love to see tonight
    20 / 19 / 88
    10 / 37 / 81
    Ross or T Broadhurst / 65 / 32
    Morin / 16 /28
    Like above….will never happen, but why not????

    Since Q has a hard on for BB, pair him with Leddy, give Rosy the night off.

  • November 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    JS i’m not a big fan of fighting (especially the staged fights) but it does have a place in hockey. I would rather see two guys square off with each other than what happens in other sports eg. a baseball pitcher throws a 90+mph fastball at a hitters head or in basketball when a player goes up for a rebound and comes down wildly swinging elbows to clear room or a football player going after someone’s knee.

  • November 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Sorry, if Hoss plays tonight, and apparently he will, then there would be no Brookbank…the lines would roll out as follows:


    And that lineup is more than good enough to beat anyone…

  • November 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I like this lineup as well

  • November 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Goldenbladz- have you seen how many suspensions there have been for dirty hits this season? Fighting does absolutely nothing to deter this.

    If a pitcher throws up and in to a batter with intent to hurt them, they get suspended. This used to be a pretty common thing in baseball until they realized it was stupid and bad for the game.

    Did you ever watch Dennis Rodman play? He always swang his elbows to clear room for himself. It had nothing to do with retaliation. When a basketball player fights, they get suspended. When they shove someone, they get suspended. Basketball very rarely has injuries from illegal contact.

    And football? Besides Merriweather, Suh, and James Harrison, people don’t really seek out trying to injure each other. And I really doubt punching them in the face would deter them from playing the game the way they think they are supposed to.

  • November 21, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Basically, what I’m trying to say is you can’t say “two guys squaring off” deters people like Kaleta, John Scott, LaPierre, Torres, etc. from dirty hits, because it doesn’t.

    On a different note, reports that Handzus will be back in Vancouver. Wonder what that means for the lineup.

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    JS i’m not saying its a direct deterent for dirty hits/plays. I’m saying its a tough game and if you have played hockey before you know that tensions can boil over and you scrap with a guy who has been sticking, spearing and taking little cheap shots at you all game. I’m not condonning the pre-meditated ones (thats boxing)

  • November 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    ps a punch is easier to dodge than a 90+mph fastball and baseball have brawls all the time, they just don’t know how to fight.

    Thats my point about basketball, Rodman was more dangerous with those elbows than a punch (as long as it isn’t a suckerpunch).
    and football there are cheapshots all the time in scrums, ask anyone on special teams play

  • November 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    There aren’t real fights in baseball. It’s very rare that a punch is actually thrown. They normally all just group up and have a middle school style mosh pit with tugging of jerseys and light pushing. How many people have you seen intentionally hit by a pitch in the head over the last 20 years in a baseball? I’ll hang up and wait for your answer.

    I’m also aware that they do terrible things to each other in football… but they also don’t take off their helmets and punch each other in the face. Doing whatever it takes to get the ball while under a pile is part of the game and it can’t possibly be removed… unless they have some x-ray camera that will show people at the bottom of a pile biting each other.

    And Rodman’s elbows are more dangerous than a punch!? SERIOUSLY!? How many people were stretchered off the court after catching a Rodman elbow? I can think of two instances from this year where people were carted off on a stretcher because of a fight. We won’t even talk about people that missed time from dental work or getting concussions from being punched in the head. Or a guy getting punched in the back of the head and never being able to play again…

    Look, this argument is ridiculous. Fighting is slowly being taken out of the game and if you can’t see that, you’re blind. I would be willing to bet any money that fighting will be gone by 2020.

  • November 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    The majority of the current NHL players and hockey people (non media) disagree with you.

  • November 22, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    At one point, the majority of NHL players didn’t think they should wear helmets.

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